Questions and answers on the right to unemployment of domestic workers

The right to unemployment of domestic workers It is already enshrined in a law. This puts an end to the historical discrimination of the group, made up mostly of women, pointed out by the European justice. The Official State Gazette (BOE) has published the decree law approved by the Government in the last Council of Ministers, which will enter into force this Friday, September 9. Even so, the obligation to contribute for unemployment starts from next month, in October, and to collect the unemployment benefit or subsidies, workers must accumulate certain months of contributions.

Below, we collect some questions and answers about this new labor law for around 400,000 workers who are registered as domestic workers in the Special Social Security System and also about the obligations derived from their employers, who will have aid from the State to assume this new cost.

The same as the rest of the workers. Until now they were excluded from it, but from now on domestic workers will contribute to unemployment and will have access to the contributory unemployment benefit and the different existing unemployment benefits when they meet the conditions for it, like the rest of wage earners.

The Attorney Robert Gutierrezspecializing in labor law, recalled this Thursday that workers will only be entitled to unemployment benefit if they are fired and not if they leave their position voluntarily, as explain here the Public Employment Service (SEPE).

The obligation to contribute for unemployment, and for the FOGASA (Salary Guarantee Fund) for domestic workers begins on October 1. From then on, the workers will add a period of unemployment contributions that will generate future protection rights, according to the access criteria of each benefit or aid.

It depends on the unemployment benefit or aid. For example, for the contributory unemployment benefit, a one-year unemployment contribution is required: "At least 360 days within the 6 years prior to the legal situation of unemployment or the moment in which the obligation to contribute ceased", remember the SEPE.

There are also other unemployment benefits that require much less contribution. Assistance for people who do not have incomes above 75% of the minimum wage requires a minimum of three months of contribution if the applicant has family responsibilities or six months of contribution (if they do not).

If the workers are over 52 years old and have exhausted the unemployment benefit or subsidies, there is a specific subsidy for this situation of unemployment at an advanced age. In this case, the beneficiaries are required "to have contributed for retirement for 15 years, two of which must be within the last 15, and to have contributed for unemployment for a minimum of 6 years throughout their working life" , remember the SEPE.

As of October 1, contributions will be mandatory in terms of unemployment and FOGASA also in the special system for domestic workers. In the case of employers of domestic workers with less than 60 hours of work per month, their obligation begins on January 1, 2023. At this time and since 2013, these workers could assume the contribution obligations themselves.

The new contribution to Social Security will mean a reduced cost for the households hiring these domestic workers because the Government has agreed to 80% bonuses. In other words, families will only assume 20% of the cost of this new contribution concept and the rest will be paid by the State.

The contribution rates in 2022 will be 6.05% in unemployment (5% by the employer and 1.05% by the worker) and 0.2% by the Salary Guarantee Fund (FOGASA), in charge exclusive to the employer. These percentages are applied on the contribution basis (similar to the gross salary) and the amount to be paid to Social Security results.

An example provided by Social Security, regarding a worker who receives the minimum wage (SMI) for a full day: the unemployment contribution for the worker will mean 12.25 euros per month, while for employers the contribution for unemployment and FOGASA would be 60.67 euros per month, but with the government bonus it remains at 12.14 euros per month.

Yes, the Government has eliminated the dismissal without cause for "withdrawal" that existed for domestic workers, whom households could fire without having to allege or justify any reason. This dismissal also had a compensation of 12 days per year worked, with a maximum of six monthly payments.

From now on, several specific causes are regulated that can justify this specific dismissal in domestic employment, which is recognized as "particular" as it is governed by exceptional situations (there is no employer company, for example). These causes are:

a) Decrease in the income of the family unit or increase in its expenses due to unforeseen circumstances.

b) Substantial modification of the needs of the family unit that justify dispensing with the domestic worker.

c) The behavior of the worker that justifies in a reasonable and proportionate manner the loss of confidence of the employer.

This special dismissal formula maintains the same compensation, 12 days per year worked.

FOGASA is a body attached to the Ministry of Labor that guarantees workers the receipt of wages, compensation for dismissal or termination of the employment relationship unpaid by their employers due to their insolvency. Thus, domestic employees will have the right to this protection from the State, like the rest of wage earners.

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